In a time when the economy is still recovering from a recession, many people are grateful to find work — even if its dangerous. As more chemical plants open up in Louisiana, the risk of workplace injury may also increase. In the wake of several chemical plant explosions, the focus on workplace safety in chemical plants has increased.
These plants are in a period of rapid expansion, and there is concern that worker safety may be compromised. This is part of the reason that a new oversight group has been created and agencies are encouraged to share information in an effort to improve the handling and storage of dangerous chemicals. Even though the American Chemical Council reports that there has been a 58 percent drop in chemical plant accidents, there is still room for improvement.
Recently, a plant located in the town of Geismar that is nestled between Baton Rouge and New Orleans had an explosion that killed two workers and injured over 100 more. The next day, a fertilizer plant on the other side of the river in Donaldsonville had an explosion that led to the death of one worker and the injury of eight workers. These are just two of many plants that make up what has been called a “chemical corridor” where nearly one-fourth of the petrochemicals in the United States are processed.
Anyone in Louisiana that works at a chemical plant may understand that there are certain dangers that accompany the job. However, that does not mean that employers should not be held responsible for doing everything possible to prevent a workplace injury. Unfortunately, even when an employer is diligent and focuses on worker safety, the possibility of injury or death still exists. In those cases, workers or their families may receive workers’ compensation benefits designed to assist with the financial difficulties associated with recovery or the loss of a loved one.